Archive for August 23rd, 2007

Federal Ct judge with 33 outstanding judgments – will CJ Fairuz now pick up the gauntlet?

On Tuesday, Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim flatly denied that there was any Federal Court judge who had not written as many as 30 grounds of judgment.

He said: “According to our records, we do not have such a thing. There is no Federal Court judge who has such a big amount of grounds of decisions to write”.

Today, New Straits Times front page carried a report “UNWRITTEN JUDGEMENTS: Former High Court judge yet to submit in 33 cases” by its reporter V. Anbalagan that Court of Appeal registry’s records revealed that a former High Court judge (who is now a Federal Court judge) did not write grounds of judgment in 33 criminal and civil cases.

The backlog included three criminal cases in Seremban which carried the death penalty.

The judge presided over the cases while serving at the High Court there five years ago.

The rest are civil cases in which he made rulings while there and in Kuala Lumpur between 1999 and 2002.

Anbalagan, who had filed the original NST report on July 23 revealing the judge had not provided written grounds of judgment in at least 30 criminal and civil cases, wrote: Read the rest of this entry »


Abolish common law system – unbecoming of Fairuz as CJ as well as highly irresponsible to divert attention

The call by Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Abdul Halim for the abolition of the common law system and favouring its replacement by Islamic law system is most unbecoming of the highest judicial officer of the land sworn to defend and uphold the Constitution and the Merdeka social contract.

Fairuz was also highly irresponsible in trying to divert attention from his failure to institute judicial reforms to restore public confidence in judicial independence, integrity and meritocracy.

In his speech opening a seminar on the thoughts and academic works of the late Tan Sri Ahmad Ibrahim on Tuesday, Fairuz said (as reported by Utusan Malaysia’s front-page headline news):

Muka Hadapan

Mansuh Common Law — Ketua Hakim Negara mahu perundangan lapuk Inggeris diganti
Oleh Zabry Mohamad

PETALING JAYA 21 Ogos — Ketua Hakim Negara, Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim hari ini mencadangkan rujukan kepada Common Law Inggeris dimansuhkan daripada undang-undang sivil negara ini kerana ia menggambarkan minda pengamal undang-undang tempatan yang masih terjajah.

Beliau juga menegur sesetengah pengamal undang-undang yang terus mengguna pakai Common Law Inggeris dalam kes-kes perbicaraan tertentu.

Sambil menyifatkan mereka sebagai ‘katak di bawah tempurung penjajah’, Ahmad Fairuz menegaskan, gejala tersebut tidak seharusnya berlaku selepas 50 tahun Malaysia mencapai kemerdekaan. Read the rest of this entry »


Urgent Monday motion – no RM4.6 bil PKFZ bailout without full parliamentary accountability and prior sanction

I have given notice to the Speaker of Parliament, Tan Sri Ramli Ngah to move an urgent motion when the Dewan Rakyat reconvenes on Monday — that there should be no bail-out of the RM4.6 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal unless there is full parliamentary accountability and prior Parliamentary sanction.

In my notice, I pointed out that there have so far been no proper accountability to Parliament whether by the Transport Minister or the Finance Minister about the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal despite the exposes in the public domain, such as:

  • (i) Hanky-panky in the purchase of the 1,000 acres for the PKFZ, despite objections by the Finance Ministry and the Attorney-General’s Chambers;

    (ii) mismanagement resulting in the pull-out of Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone (Jafza) from the project, which could become a “white elephant”; and

    (iii) questionable cost-overruns of the PKFZ, ballooning to RM4.63 billion from the original estimate of RM1.1 billion.

  • The unlawful and unauthorized Transport Ministry issue of four “letters of support” which were used by the turnkey contractor – Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd (KDSB) – to raise RM4.6 billion bonds and get an AAA rating from the Malaysia Rating Corporation Bhd. for the PKFZ project.
  • Why the government and the 26 million Malaysians must now bear responsibility if there is a RM4.6 billion PKFZ bailout despite earlier assurances that the PKFZ project would be feasible, self-financing and would not involve a single ringgit of public funds.
  • Why the Prime Minister is breaching his undertaking of no bailout of mega-billion-ringgit “white elephant” projects — set to be the biggest financial scandal at the beginning of any Prime Minister.

Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia and the Myth of ‘Tanah Melayu’

By Farish A. Noor

We are sustained by myths only as long as they are empowering, inspiring, instrumental and serve our interests; yet when those very same myths provide us with little else than the false comfort of an unreconstructed nostalgia for a past that never existed, then they turn into cages that imprison us for life. The myth of a unique European ‘civilisational genius’ has only helped to parochialise Europe even more; the staid discourse of ‘Asian values’ merely denies the fact that Asian civilisations would not have
developed as they did without contact with the outside world; and the myth of a pure and uninterrupted development of Indo-Aryan culture has only opened the way for the rise of right-wing Hindutva Fascists in the Indian subcontinent. Notwithstanding their claims to standing proud and tall, the demagogues who utter such pedestrian nonsense remain stunted, as their logic, on the stage of global history: testimony to the claim that those whose confidence is founded in stilts can only remain handicapped for life…

A nation that is grown up is one that is mature enough to realise that it can dispense with such myths, particularly when the honeyed nectar of mythology reveals itself as nothing more than poison. Yet poison has become our draught, and this nation of ours is ailing to the core by now.

The symptoms of the malady are all around us these days and we see them readily enough: As the asinine debate over a rap rendition of the national anthem turns bilious and takes on an increasingly racialised mien, forcing all sides to retreat to the hallowed sanctuary of communal and racial identity, the nation’s attention has been diverted from truly pressing issues concerning the economy and the spate of potentially explosive legal cases currently being fought out in the courts of the land.

The vernacular press assumes the role of champions of each respective community, and racial overtones are clearly seen and felt in the language of national politics. Yet nobody points to the real issue at stake, even if we need to discuss the rap video rendered by the young Wee Meng Chee, which surely should be this: If a young Malaysian has seen fit to deliver his
tirade against all that he sees wrong in the country in terms that are racially-determined, is this not a reflection of the racialised and divisive politics that already reigns in Malaysia, courtesy of the ruling National Front coalition led by UMNO in the first place? The racialised logic that rests in Meng Chee’s rap is only a mirror reflection of the racialised politics already at work in Malaysia already. So are we Malaysians so ashamed of ourselves that we can no longer look at ourselves squarely in the face and accept the monstrosity that stands before us today?

Yet the editorials in the vernacular press are baying for blood and Meng Chee, they insist, must be brought to book. Amidst this furore of chest-thumping theatrics and protestations of communal insult and outrage, we hear the communitarians among us blare out again and again: ‘Jangan tunduk’, ‘Defend our pride’, ‘kurang ajar’ and so forth. No, reason and rational debate are no longer welcomed in Malaysia that is ‘truly Asia’, and this homeland for some will demand its pound of flesh from others. Meng Chee is not the first and certainly will not be the last to suffer from the slighted sensitivities of those whose comfort zones and essentialised identities are sacrosanct and inviolable. Previously others have also been brought to the village tribunal of the mob for allegedly insulting race and religion as well. (Here I write from bitter experience myself.) Read the rest of this entry »